Don’t let the name fool you, it’s not named after a large green monster but rather the town of Ogre in Latvia, from where the brewer Matthew Veide’s family originated. This family owned brewery and tap house is located in a heritage listed 1860s cottage which was for many years ‘The Barn’, a popular restaurant in McLaren Vale. Now as the home of Ogre Brewing Co, it’s open from 11am till late 7 days a week and visitors can try a range of beers with snacks, lunch or dinner.
The first decision when you arrive is where to sit? You have the choice of a cosy lounge area with a fireplace and leather chesterfields if you are looking for a comfortable spot to taste the brews, or if dining in there are tables inside the restaurant or in the vine covered pergola outdoors, which is also fully enclosed, so comfortable whatever season you visit.The business opened in December 2020 and they currently have three brews, a pale ale, amber ale and a smoked porter to taste as well as having other South Australian beers which they rotate on guest taps. The restaurant has food which is a little bit special, with dishes like curried beef cheeks, octopus and pork salad, mushroom and parmesan gnocchi and Korean fried chicken burger, and there are a few Latvian food choices on the menu too. We had to try the Piragi, traditional Latvian bacon and onion filled buns which matched perfectly with a beer tasting. There are also some mouthwatering cakes and tarts on the menu.
You can order a tasting paddle with four brews which also comes with some spiced almonds, or select a beer, cider or soft drink of your choice. Wines, South Australian gins and a selection of cocktails are also available.
Ogre Brewing Co is in the main street of McLaren Vale as you drive into town from Adelaide, only around 40 kilometres south of the city. With so much to do in the ‘vales’, this is another experience to waylay you a little longer.